Saturday morning market.

The only thing more pathetic than the silver-painted statue buskers are the people who are charmed by them.


Posted at 12:20 pm in Detroit life, iPhone |

72 responses to “Saturday morning market.”

  1. brian stouder said on December 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Well, I’d have tipped (busked?) a person if she did herself up as a Wizard of Oz-style Tin Woman.

    The funnel cap would be de rigueur, and the silver color; but other than that, she could have numerous possibilities for inventive flair…

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  2. alex said on December 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    What Detroit needs is some good Chicago-style gold-painted naked buskers like the ones holding hors d’oeuvre trays at art gallery openings.

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  3. Deborah said on December 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    There’s a guy who paints himself silver and hangs out in front of the Wrigley building. I can’t believe people let their children sit on his lap! He’s extremely creepy.

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  4. Dexter said on December 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    You all know the story: Buddy Ebsen, Tin Man…damn-nearly killed the poor guy when he reacted violently to the makeup.

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  5. Dexter said on December 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Oh damn, another comedian. My wife is trying to be funny. In the kitchen she is, so I nicely asked her to pour me a cuppa joe and bring it to me, this after I had served her breakfast-in-bed, freshly made biscuits and fresh sausage gravy.
    She knows I take coffee straight black, no added anything.
    So I let it cool a bit and take a gulp and shee-it! She had double-dosed it with sugar. Nothing ruins coffee like sugar. Ha ha bitch I mean Sweetie..

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  6. Prospero said on December 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    busking is defined as playing music or performing entertainment in a public place for donations. Those guys in the metallic makeup are invariably mimes, so I’d say they can’t be buskers unless they break out a one-man band outfit, they are, by definition, not buskers. The lovely and inimitable Patty Larkin was a busker. Her partner in busking was Shawn Colvin (Sunny Came Home, a great song). I used to see this duo at the Harvard Square Red Line subway stop and damn they wer good (and gorgeous). I think they both made enough money to retire from busking. as did preternaturally cute KT Tunstall was a busker, and a One-woman Band, as a master of the loop effects pedal with a stunning husky contralto voice and a knack for playing guitar. Note to Miley and the poptarts: That’s how you double tracck. Sing your own backup and be your own rhythm section while producing stomping guitar riffs and looking and singing like a grown woman, and writing lyrics reminding Maggie Trudeau about that piece of clothing she forgot. Jonathan Richman used to play Roadrunner down in the tunnel at the Park Street stop.

    Dom’t mean to be picky, but miming and busking are mutually exclusive. Busking is, by definition, entertaining. Mimes are only entertaining if you like being put off.

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  7. Prospero said on December 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Mark Knopfler wrote a great song about busking, Walk of Life. Guy is probably the greatest guitar player in the world, and he was a busker, obviously. I’d say Dire Straits is the most unfairly misunderestimated bands ever, and I’d trade one of my feet to be able to play like Mark Knopfler. Hell, one of my eyes. And did any band ever look more like they were enjoying playing together than Dire Straits? Maybe Faces. The Fabs on the roof. Oh, they were having fun, But did they like each other?

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  8. coozledad said on December 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Awww. Poor splody, splody Republican heads.

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  9. David C. said on December 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    David Knopfler had a bit of a feud with Mark, but other than that I agree completely. I love Mark’s soundtrack to the movie Local Hero. It’s a perfect fit to IMO the perfect movie.

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  10. susan said on December 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    #7 prospero- The crowd in front of Dire Straits looks like a giant cilia-waving paramecium . Creepy.

    I do like Mark Knopfler and that song, too.

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  11. susan said on December 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    All those white white white cilia.

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  12. brian stouder said on December 28, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    OK – I went to see what Susan was talking about, and – wow.

    That was indeed a strikingly monochromatic crowd – especially given the size of it.

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  13. coozledad said on December 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    All Benghazis must pass.

    He thought he saw a buttsex
    That took away his wife
    He looked again and saw it was
    his sordid, empty life
    “The last straw was my Franklin Mint Swiss Army “Reagan” Knife”.

    He thought he saw ”pajama boy”
    In footies made of fleece
    He looked again, and found it was
    the ghost of Louis MacNiece.
    “You filthy Marxist sleepwear queen
    Please let me die in peace!”

    He thought he saw an immigrant
    That stole American jobs
    He found it was his personal stash
    Of rectal scrubbing cobs.
    “One thing I cannot stand”, he said
    “Is booty hygiene slobs”.

    He thought he saw Ted Haggard
    A’Faith-healing the sick
    He looked again and saw the preacher sucking at his dick.
    Mysterious ways hath God’, he said.
    “I’ll try and finish quick.”

    He thought he saw Mitt Romney
    Win the presidency
    But it was just Karl Rove adjusting
    Penile jewelry
    “I can’t accept this now”, he said.
    “Perhaps next century!”

    He thought he saw Benghazi burning in his living room
    He looked again, and found it was
    lord Kitchener of Khartoum
    “I have shat the floor, m’ lord.
    Please help me with this broom.”

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  14. MarkH said on December 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    I absolutely knew you’d be the first one to post, Cooz, cause you’d buy that NYT shit in, well, in a New York second. Interviews only with friendlies , no other foundation. But, it agrees with us, so boom. Brian will not be far behind.

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  15. Brandon said on December 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    The only thing more pathetic than the silver-painted statue buskers are the people who are charmed by them.

    Maybe they’re just unself-conscious and enjoying themselves.

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  16. brian stouder said on December 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    MarkH – you’re right about one thing, anyway!

    One serious question – not snarky or argumentative, but: what does the term “Benghazi” conjure for you?

    What political overlay is it shorthand for?

    For example, “Watergate” (to me) encapsulates abuse of power, zero-sum and vindictive political thuggery, and (ultimately) unacceptable (if not unpardonable!) behavior by the president and the executive branch of government.

    And, to me, the political term “Benghazi” brings to mind right-wing talk radio partisan claptrap….similar (in that regard) to birtherism and “food stamp president” and “the regime”.

    A United States consulate was attacked in Benghazi. Bad guys do these things from time to time. It happened right in the middle f a US presidential election, and Red Romney made more or less LEAPED at it, making premature accusations even as the fires still burned and smoldered.

    Whatever “case” could be made WAS made (by Romney and his Foxy minions and the flying monkeys of the rightwing airwaves, et al) and – SCOREBOARD – President Obama was re-elected and Romney was still rejected.


    Here’s a question for the right-wing apologists and Obama-haters and Reagan worshippers: do you even remember what happened in Beirut? 241 United States Marines blown to smithereens? Another 100+ Americans injured?

    And for what?

    Why were we there?

    Do you know what RWR did in the aftermath of that catastrophe? To use his terminology, he decided to “cut and run” – which is hard to argue with…but why were we there? How could we have been so vulnerable to such a catastrophic attack?

    And indeed – what happened the next year? – that’s right, we (including me) re-elected President Reagan.

    From time to time, bad guys hit us; such has always been the case.

    Why was the World Trade Center completely destroyed? Why was the Pentagon hit? What other thing was the last plane supposed to hit – and why?

    One possible “reason” was that al Qaeda wanted the United States out of holy areas in Saudi Arabia….and do you know what? In the wake of those attacks, the United States (under President Obama’s predecessor) did indeed leave those areas

    In short, yes – as a rule, I agree with Cooze, period.

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  17. Sherri said on December 29, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Oh come on, Brian, we all know that Obama blew up Benghazi because they had found his birth certificate showing he was really born in Africa!

    Jeff(tmmo), we went to see Hobbit 2 tonight, and while I’ve never seen a Transformers movie, I suspect that Tolkien meets Transformers is a pretty accurate description. I’ve no doubt that by the end, it will be possible to construct a pretty decent movie version of The Hobbit out of Jackson’s mess, but there will be a lot of cartoon sequences and unnecessary stuff to be thrown away. (Did he really add Legolas to the Hobbit just so he could have an Elven-Dwarf love triangle?)

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  18. Danny said on December 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Brian, I would dub thee Spriggy II, but not even the Sprigster rolled over as much as you. Good Boy!

    Hilarious. Derek probably didn’t even read the original story because he has Gawker to tell him what to think.

    Sherri, if you do not understand that the screw up in Benghazi was covered up because of the proximity to the election, wish I could sell you a bridge.

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  19. coozledad said on December 29, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I wish I could sell you a bridge.
    You need to talk to Sarah Palin. But be sure to bring some chaw.

    Rev up that theramin!

    He stuck with Romney to the end
    believed that Issa’d hit pay dirt
    As reality crept in
    You could see shit caked on his shirt..

    He kept a chart up on his wall
    with lines connecting key events
    And he believed, believed it all
    When that train left it took his sense

    He kept some letters on his fridge
    arranged them just to fit his mood
    and his mood was always black
    just like that muslin preznit dude.

    I went to see him just today
    Oh, but I didn’t see no tears
    They’d pumped him full of thorazine
    he’s vacant as old Britney Spears

    He stopped sreamin’ Benghazi
    They placed a notice on his door
    And put a band upon his wrist
    “Don’t let this bugfuck out no more”.

    Ya’ know it really weighed so heavy on his mind
    he was like a chicken neath a brick
    And it occurred to me in time
    It could’na happened to a bigger prick


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  20. Sherri said on December 29, 2013 at 3:27 am

    I’d love to have a bridge, Danny. We have so many bridges up here that need to be replaced, and if the bridge were mine, then I could require that the bridge support light rail as well. I could put a bridge across the Columbia River to replace the aging I-5 bridge, or if they didn’t want it, I could put it across Lake Washington just for light rail, so that all the car fetishists could stop complaining and fighting to stop light rail maybe taking some of their precious car space. I would love to be able to ride the train into Seattle, rather than fight traffic.

    Since I’ve never understood what was supposedly covered up, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t understand that it was covered up because of the election, so I want my bridge!

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  21. Dexter said on December 29, 2013 at 5:18 am

    What coincidental timing here at home. Daughter Lori and her husband Aaron bought us a year of Netflix and a couple Galaxy tabs. Anyway…I was running it through my BluRay and I noticed “Flight” was available, so I watched it. In the movie there is a beer dumping as our hero takes can after can of beer and dumps it down a sink. It’s so odd, because that is exactly what I did 21 years ago this very day. Dumped a case and a half of beer and two jugs of Night Train Express wine down the drain. Halfway through, I opened a can of Bud Light, took a tiny sip and out loud I said goodbye and I never have tasted alcohol since.

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  22. coozledad said on December 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Sherri: it’s a waste of effort to talk to these feebs, unless you happen to be doing research on childhood acquisition of language.

    They’ve picked up a few words and phrases, and attempt to ape high function, but they’re unable to pair concept with signifier.

    They can’t keep it up for more than a couple of sentences before the sham drifts into the usual miserable racist and homophobic trolling. Words really have no meaning to them beyond tribal indentification. It’s a window into their stunning incomprehension of the way things work.

    I don’t know why such a large subset of the population lacks the means to do anything but drift through life angry and alone, but I’m over trying to respond to that childish shit with anything beyond Dr. Seuss knockoffs. Why not get some joy out of the sadasses? We’re all going to die anyway.

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  23. Deborah said on December 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Congrats on those 21 years Dexter.

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  24. Danny said on December 29, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I don’t know why such a large subset of the population lacks the means to do anything but drift through life angry and alone

    IRONY ALERT. Very rich.

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  25. coozledad said on December 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    It’s Alanis Morrisette!

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  26. Danny said on December 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Sherri, its quite simple. Benghazi was a screw up by the State Department whereby, by many reports, they ignored repeated warnings, possibly from several sources (depending on who you believe), regarding the volatility of the situation in Libya and the danger to our embassy personnel. That of itself is not so important. People screw up all the time. Mistakes are made, etc. And I will qualify that the Benghazi screw up does not even come close the the monstrous foreign policy fuck ups of the Bush administration for which we are still paying in spades.

    What is somewhat important and fairly despicable is the cover up of the facts by this current administration and the outright lying. They could not afford to have this embarrassing situation see the full light of day so close to the election and now that HRC is the heir-apparent in 2016, they continue to double down on the sham talking-points with the occasional helping hand from a few chronic media-based DNC water-bearers.

    Again, this is only somewhat important and it probably would not even come up in this forum had Derek not gotten so excited he had to break out in stilted verse.

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  27. Sherri said on December 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Congratulations, Dexter, on 21 years of sobriety!

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  28. Dave said on December 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Dexter, congratulations on 21 years on what some I know have succeeded and others have failed, to resulting great loss, both personally and professionally.

    Our daughter and son-in-law gave us six months of streaming Netflix. I signed into it last night for the first time and watched the pilot episode of Longmire, a book series I’ve also been reading through. Not quite the same as the books.

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  29. Sherri said on December 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Only in the tiny, fevered brain of Darrell Issa is there a coverup. And that is a tiny, fevered brain indeed. It is unfortunate that he is in a position of power. From the California gubernatorial recall election to Fast & Furious and Benghazi, he keeps trying to find something to ride to higher office.

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  30. MichaelG said on December 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Well done, Dexter! Night Train? Whew.

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  31. beb said on December 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    This thread has gone straight to hell. Well, here’s my jug of gasoline…

    My brother was up from Southern Indiana for Christmas. While there he played a song he’d found on the Internet that he thought was an excellent Christmas song and wondered why it hadn’t become more popular. The song was nice. The singer, a young girl was very talented, the music was simple but effective. The title “Where is the line for baby Jesus.” It’s about going to a mall, seeing a line for Santa but none for the Christ. I’m sure you can find it by googling. My brother was mystified that it wasn’t more popular.

    Later a reason came to me, and not wanting to get into a flight with my brother a la Cooz and Mark, I didn’t mention it to him but it’s this: Most Christmas Carols are either the likes of “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” – merry songs celebrating family and friends, good times and good food. Or like “Away in a Manager” they’re a celebration of the birth of Jesus but with a message of comfort and joy, forgiveness and hope for a better tomorrow. But “Where’s the line for baby Jesus” is a song that tells us we’re doing it all wrong. That good times, good friends, good food and wishes for a better tomorrow is not good enough. We must whip ourselves with nettles because we haven’t whipped ourselves with nettles enough for our sinful and unworthy ways. “Where’s the line for baby Jesus” is, in that context, a mean and hateful song. It’s saying “you’re doing it all wrong.” People hear that all year long. One day a year they’d like to hear a little comfort and joy and not the disapproval of some know-it-all.

    And that’s the war on Christmas in a nutshell.

    I have no idea what vast conspiracy the right sees in Benghazi. It happened in a war-torn country where a lot of military weapons were floating around. It involved Americans, a frequently hated group. Security for any nation’s consulate is provide by the host nation. In hindsight it wasn’t enough. The attacker’s were a mix of people incensed by a YouTube video and militants. There has been no evidence that this was an al Qidia operation. In part because al-Quidia is so decentralized. Maybe that’s what has their panties in a twist. They want this to be an al Quidia attack on America so they can claim that Obama has not kept the US safe from terrorists the way W did. Or something.

    But it’s interesting to learn that all Buskers are beggers but not all beggers are buskers.

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  32. beb said on December 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Dave @28: another Longmire fan, hurrah! The books are incredible. The TV show has tried to capture some of the books feel but there’s no way a 44 minute show can begin to capture the complexities of the book. Still I think the TV show is better than a lot of other stuff available.

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  33. brian stouder said on December 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    well, here’s hoping that Michael Schumacher is OK…and although the article sounds fairly optimistic, this sentence is fairl jarring:

    LONDON – Retired seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was airlifted to a hospital after colliding with a rock while skiing in the French Alps, officials told local media.

    The article describes his injuries as “not very serious”, and then there’s this sentence, which I confess made me laugh –

    “He dropped off-piste at Meribel. He was wearing a helmet and banged against a rock,” Gernigon-Lecomte told the channel.

    So why was he pissed at Maribel? (I’m assuming that “off-piste” is a skiing term…but for me, sliding down a mountainside in the French Alps starts right out as off-kilter, if not insane!)

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  34. Sherri said on December 29, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    “Piste” just means trail, and usually refers to a marked (often groomed) run at a ski resort. Off-piste means going off trail, which may or may not be difficult or dangerous. You go off-piste to get fresh snow that’s been skied less, or to ski among trees, which can be fun if you know what you’re doing. I’m not particularly a dare-devil, and I’ve skied off-piste regularly.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 29, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Off-piste is the same as NASCAR’s “down in the grass”.

    Sherri, I look forward to that edit of the three Hobbit movies into a decent single feature, although there’s no salvaging the dog’s breakfast Jackson made of the Beorn sequence.

    As to the “war on Christmas” theme, about to be mothballed for another eleven months, there are not a few of us evangelicals who say “fine” to pulling most carols from general circulation. Let’s not keep reinforcing the idea of singing mindlessly and with no actual meaning words with actual theological content; I don’t mean to insult those who have and do, I’m talking about a “Resident Aliens” model (Hauerwas & Willimon, thirty year old book that still is waiting to be taken seriously) that acknowledges that the vague cultural Christendom we had for a few decades that presumed the general culture was teaching our children faith and forming adult spiritual development through mass culture was actually doing more harm than good. Now, if you go to church, it’s because you’ve decided to go there, and not because you can’t sell insurance or run for dogcatcher without church membership; and if your children learn the basics of the faith, it’s because you intended to teach it to them, not just something that happened in between Art Linkletter and Petula Clark.

    If we’re going to ask people to sing “let nothing you dismay, for Jesus Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day to save us all from Satan’s power, when we were gone astray: oh, tidings of comfort of joy…” let’s give them credit for meaning it, or preferring not to sing it insincerely. Because it’s not a small thing to claim, nor does it help anyone to make them sing it at the point of a sprig of holly.

    May religious freedom and the blessings of liberty be yours this bright and hopeful new year!

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    And may your 22nd year of sobriety be a blessing to you as you have been to others, Dexter. Grace & peace with you, good sir.

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  37. Jolene said on December 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I’m a Longmire fan too. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know the TV series was based on a series of books; perhaps I’ll have a chance to check them out.

    My sister has been visiting from NY this weekend, and we’ve been checking some of the (relatively) movies. Yesterday, we saw 12 Years a Slave, which was very powerful. Chewitel Ejiofor, the actor who played the central character was extraordinary. He will certainly be nominated for an Academy Award, and I hope he wins. I can’t think of another performance that would top his, though, of course, I haven’t quite gotten to the end of the list of possibles. There were a couple of odd moments that stretched the bounds of plausibility, but I’d see it again to watch Ejiofor’s performance, despite the awfulness of a close-up view of slavery.

    Deciding to double up on artistic treatments of man’s inhumanity to man, we also saw The Book Thief, a story with a young girl as the central character, set in Nazi Germany. The girl is played brilliantly by Sophie Nelisse, a young Canadian, and the two main adult roles are played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Both are very good, but we especially appreciated Rush. We were both quite taken with the movie and wondered why it hadn’t seemed to get the kind of press that some other new movies have gotten. Looking at reviews after we got home, we found that the main complaint was that the movie did not do enough to show the horrors that took place under Nazism, but we felt we already knew that and weren’t put off by a movie that showed tender relations between people living through a perilous time. (It was based on a young adult novel, which may account for some of the restraint.) Has anybody else seen it? Would be interested in what you think.

    Today, we saw American Hustle. Am still making up my mind what I think about it. It is, of course, a set of star turns by currently hit actors (Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner), but our main reaction was that it was too much a presentation of actors acting and not enough of actors becoming characters or weaving an engaging story. David Edelstein (I think; if not him then some other prominent critic who was recently talking on TV) called it one of his two favorite movies of the year. I wouldn’t give it that, but am going to read some more reviews to see what others liked that I missed. Anyone else seen this?

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  38. Jolene said on December 29, 2013 at 10:25 pm


    (relatively) should be (relatively new)

    Currently hit actors, should be currently hot actors

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  39. Deborah said on December 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I read the Benghazi story in the NYT, found it interesting and informative.

    This evening I finished reading a Christmas present book from my husband by Tony Hillerman’s daughter, Ann Hillerman. It’s a continuation of the Leaphorn and Chee series of her late father. It wasn’t bad, but from the perspective, of Bernie Manuolito, Chee’s wife, also a Navajo tribal police. A portion of it takes place in Santa Fe, lots of familiar locations.

    I too am a fan of the Longmire TV series, haven’t read any of the books.

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  40. Dexter said on December 30, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Here I am trying to quit cussin’ and Aaron Rodgers hits Randall Cobb on fourth down, and Cobb stumbles in for a touchdown. And I start my worst cussing rant of the week, and I am not a Bears fan, but I certainly hate Green Bay’s Packers.
    Now it isn’t all bad, because my playoff “A” team ( I mean, get serious…you think my teams, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, will ever go anywhere in the playoffs?) the San Francisco 49ers, now get to beat up on the Pack, if there is a God after all.

    Bittersweet finish, a brilliant end-of-series finale for “Treme”. I love that show, but all things must pass, I know.

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  41. Judybusy said on December 30, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Dexter, congratulations on the 21 years!

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  42. MGolden said on December 30, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Brian, it looks like Schumacher was hurt a lot worse than original reports indicated.

    Dexter, I never had anything against the Packers and I like Rogers but now’s our chance to both root for the 49ers. I was quite pleased to see the Cowboys lose last night.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on December 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Dexter, here’s to many more years of sobriety. Congratulations.

    Jolene, I haven’t seen any of those movies yet, but got dragged along to the latest Hobbit film. It was too long but slightly more engaging than the first one.

    My Christmas gift was a trip to Toronto to see Les Miserables, in a production that will transfer to Broadway next year. But you know what? The local theater’s production this summer was just as moving, though lacking the spectacular sets and costumes. (Full disclosure: our son was in the local show.) I actually preferred the acting choices of the local Javert, who showed the character’s inner conflict.

    We hadn’t been to Toronto in many years, and the city has been transformed from laid back to hustle and bustle. There were construction cranes everywhere, and the theater we attended is slated for demolition to make way for condos. Too bad.

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  44. Danny said on December 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Dexter, I still cannot believe my lowly Chargers backed into the playoffs. Geesh, the chances were so extremely low and the missed chip-shot field goal at the end of regulation by the Chiefs was unfathomable. I was driving down the road listening on the radio and had decided to stop in at this little delicatessen joint near my house a catch the end of the 4th qtr. Everyone went absolutely mental when that field goal skewed right.

    Jolene, we saw “American Hustle” last night at a friend’s house who is a member of the SAG. She gets the Oscar contender movies sent to her every year, which is kinda cool, but I have to agree with your assessment. The two most memorable things in the movie were the degree to which Christian Bale was able to disappear into the seedy conman character, complete with ghastly comb-over and a huge gut, and the way that JLaw was able to shoot tears straight out of her eyes at the drop of a hat.

    All told, it was a good movie to be able to say we saw for free.

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  45. Deborah said on December 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I think it was here at nn.c that I first heard of the one word resolution. I think mine for 2013 will be… Reduce. Not necessarily weight, although I’ve gained a few pounds and my jeans are too tight. Mostly I want to reduce my consumption of commercial goods, in other words spend less. Save more.

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  46. Dexter said on December 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks to all for the inspiration to trudge the happy road of destiny in sobriety for just one more day. 🙂

    Just like last year and the past 15 or so, really, the only addiction that bothers me in the slightest is my craving for Kentucky Club and Sir Walter Raleigh tobaccos…still…if I smell the wafting of the smoke of someone enjoying a pipeful (hardly anyone smokes a pipe now, of course)I go crazy like a vampire at sunset or a wine lover at the first shipment of Nouveau Beaujolais.

    Is beer really so bad that Miller Lite, advertisers of grooved inner bottle necks to ensure a better pour, bottles that were design-stolen from Sprite soda, and now all they can think of to do is to return to the original can design…is this light beer THAT bad that the ads are so shallow they do not dare mention the apparently weak and awful taste…for years now they just market the goddam containers! Hey, I found an empty Budweiser bottle in the park so I picked it up to toss it to the trashcan. It was solid color, I thought maybe an aluminum bottle…but the damn thing was not aluminum the strength of a can. It was not plastic either, unless a very hard plastic…it wasn’t like a steel can, either…what the hell was it made of?

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  47. Dexter said on December 30, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    sorry about the link to an Austrian prison. my bad. 🙂

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  48. brian stouder said on December 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    MGolden – indeed, the reports (and not for nothing, one notes that updates are few and far between) about Michael Schumacher are quite worrisome. The word “coma” is now in all of them, as is the classification “critical condition”.

    I’ve been a huge Schumacher fan since the days of his racing in the genuinely beautiful Benetton car, and his close-fought victory for a World Championship in that car, with a customer Ford engine!

    I remember going to Indianapolis for the Saturday F1 practice/qualifications…always a very pleasant day – and quite cheap ($20 got me in, and often as not the ticket people would wave the young folks accompanying me in for free)…and watching all the big names blazing down the long straight – or else (when we ventured around the infield) darting through the chicanes and corners.

    One year, while walking across the backside of the paddock (near the museum) we brushed right past Jean Todt; got to nod and exchange “hello”s as we continued in opposite directions.

    The atmosphere was always so pleasant – at least for the fans. You wandered where you wanted – sat in different places and enjoyed different perspectives and different acoustics (those cars have a beautiful sound)…and gabbed with other fans, who came from all over.

    I remember having a good-natured debate with an older guy as we sat in the between Turn 12 and Turn 13 (or, for Indy cars – in the short chute between Turn One and Turn Two) about Schumacher, as Schuey screamed past in his Ferrari.

    The guy didn’t like Schuey at all, and said that if Schuey had been in World War Two, he’d have been a death-camp guard! I laughed and said ‘no no no – he’d have been an ace in the luftwaffe’ – whereupon he retorted with something like ‘yeah – and he’d have strafed throngs of refugees’…!!

    Anyway – it placed things in perspective for my current dislike for the current German phenom (who I dislike pretty thoroughly) – Sebastian Vettle.

    I do hope Schuey pulls through; he’s one of the “immortals” of that sport – which by nature is all too mortal, afterall.

    Deborah – if I was going to do a one-word resolution, I’d have to come up with a single word that signifies closing my mouth and holding my tongue, rather than going off half-cocked and arguing against a thing that a person didn’t mean. (maybe – “inhale”)

    I hit a bit of a streak wherein I was quite guilty of that (especially with mark, if not with our west coast friends!).

    Anyway – having seen your pictures, I don’t think you have any weight to lose (at all!)

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  49. Danny said on December 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Brian, very magnanimous. I too will try that. Sorry for everything.

    By the way, I am not an F1 fan (or motorsports really), but I do ski and I wonder if Schumacher was wearing a helmet.

    I remember a few years ago when I returned to the sport after missing several seasons that there had been a sea-change in the wearing of helmets. In the space of three seasons, it had gone from almost no one wearing helmets to about 80-90%. Some of this was undoubtedly a result of the raised awareness in the wake of Natasha Richardson’s untimely demise from a seemingly innocuous fall on the bunny slope.

    You would think that being an F1 racer, things could go one of two ways. One, he could see the absolute merits of wearing a helmet, safety being engrained in everything he does … or two, he could think that the speeds of skiing do not even approach F1 and that the helmet was not necessary.

    Even with the helmet, skiing (and boarding) is dangerous enough. Last year, my little bro got a limb-threatening leg break about two weeks before I was supposed to meet him in Park City. I just booked my tickets for this year’s trip a few days ago and this Schumacher story gives me pause. Man, I love skiing, but gotta have that mantra in my head… “Be Careful!”

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  50. Sherri said on December 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Danny, Schumacher was wearing a helmet, according to the news reports. Helmets are great, I never ski without one, but there are no guarantees about anything. A woman died a few weeks ago at one of the ski resorts up here from a fall on a bunny slope, despite wearing a helmet.

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  51. brian stouder said on December 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    ….and – “Stay on-piste”

    (that just sounds strange!)

    Danny, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    I have already decreed to Pamela that the day will come that she will see San Diego. You live in a genuinely beautiful part of the world

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Saw “American Hustle” for free this am myself; Christian Bale can’t get enough praise for his performance, and Amy Adams’ costume designer. The latter must have used as much spirit gum as Bale does in his opening scene with the combover. As a story, it was . . . odd. As an evocation of the late 70’s, it was terrifyingly effective.

    I still say, at risk of provoking David Edelstein, that the closing credits’ audio makes up for any sins of belaboration in “Saving Mr. Banks,” and Colin Farrell takes a thankless role and does something lovely with it. But the best movie I’ve seen since Christmas has been “Holiday Inn” (1942).

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  53. Kirk said on December 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    OK, folks, latest Pew Research poll says that less than half of Republicans believe in evolution.

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  54. Danny said on December 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Is the corollary axiom that less than half of Dems believe in God? 🙂 Sorry, could not help it.

    Nance, I have been researching knee braces for those of us who want to stay active and ambulatory, but who do not want a knee replacement. I will let you know what I find out. Here is one interesting link. They are pricey (very), but maybe knee health is worth it. I was looking at these for skiing. I don;t think I can afford them this year.

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  55. Danny said on December 30, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    This is probably more like what I am going to get to replace and old hinged joint kind I already own:

    Sherri, if I recall correctly, you are not only a skier, but you’ve also had to deal with some major knee injuries. I haven’t had any major injuries so far (only noisy knees), but the last few years of skiing I have taken to wearing a sleeve or a sleeve with hinges for some added support and injury prevention insurance.

    You have any input or experience (or anyone else)?

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  56. Sherri said on December 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Danny, I haven’t been skiing since my ACL reconstruction, though I hope to get back out there this year. I have a DonJoy custom ACL brace (similar to the Defiance), but I was able to get insurance coverage for it because my doctor prescribed it. I used it in karate for the 6 month to 1 year post-surgery period, and I’ll probably use it when I ski. I don’t plan on getting one for the other knee, though.

    I do keep up my work on my leg muscles to make sure my knees are well supported, and I think that’s probably more important than anything else.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 30, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Kirk, that’s another case of “what the poll asks” versus “what people think they’re answering.” If you asked my congregation “do you believe the entire world & all life was created in a single moment about 6,000 years ago and biology can best be understood in reference to that understanding,” you’d get maybe 15%, more like 10% (I’d like to think 5%, but I’m realistic). If you asked them “does the biological concept of evolution best explain the differences in species and the functions of organisms” you’d get easily 75% or higher. But if you ask “do you believe in evolution” in any form that sounds too much like “do you think evolution is the best way for humans to understand who they are and how they should live” you’ll get a majority and more saying not only “no” but “heckfire, no.”

    There is too much sloppy acceptance of “Darwin taught people to believe that the survival of the fittest is the best way to understand morality, and that’s why Nazism took off” out there, but I can assure you no one around here will say that in my hearing without getting a vigorous argument. Unfortunately, even many liberal/progressive clergy feel scientifically non-literate enough that they tend to sidestep the whole debate, while decrying anti-evolutionism in only the most general terms. The young earth creationists, even in very conservative churches, are few in number, but they have their stash of standard “what about the intermediate forms” retorts well polished and close at hand . . . the truth is, most of them don’t know much science, and if you have clear and specific responses to their standard few gambits, they throw up their hands and walk away pretty quickly, muttering “whole Bible, not a Bible full of holes.”

    Anyhow, my favorite creation story of all the ones in the Bible (another argument stopper: there’s more than one!) is Job 38-41, but Psalm 104 is pretty cool, too.

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  58. Kirk said on December 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    43 percent of Republicans agree that “Humans and other living things have evolved over time.”

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    67% of Democrats. (What Kirk & I are batting back and forth – )

    But more Democrats have no religious affiliation. And as I proposed above, religious folk are not necessarily rejecting evolution wholesale when they make a pick from a list of options such as what Pew is putting forth as the respondent’s choices.

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 30, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    My crowd: “By comparison, only 15% of white mainline Protestants share this opinion.”

    The key element of the question as asked is “time,” and in doing audience/visitor surveys for our local earthworks (see for how I amuse myself in my spare time) I learned an unexpected item among many surprises: people are most comfortable with the concepts, historically speaking, of “hundreds of years ago” and “millions of years ago” but “thousands of years” let alone “two thousand years ago” is a statement only made by those who have previous detailed knowledge of ancient cultures and history. The general public in 2009 can “handle” the idea of centuries mentally, and can “manipulate” gingerly the concept of “millions” as a placeholder for “unimaginably long ago, setting the stage for historical eras” but they just draw a blank in general with the frame “thousands.” Only masters & doctorate level educations, and not all of them, would deal with, let alone accurately know the age of our Ohio earthworks as mostly 2,000 years old.

    But if you said “at the same time when Rome was a world power” folks could draw further parallels; going back to the Great Pyramid or Stonehenge (3,600 – 4,200 years BCE) and people would get chronologically disoriented again.

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  61. basset said on December 30, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    I took out my ACL playing basketball in, believe it was ’87… also tore the medial collateral and some cartilage. First brace was a Lenox Hill, heavy steel with lots of buckles and rubber straps but “it’s the same one Joe Namath got.” Asked for one of those fancy lightweight ones I saw across the room but the therapist who was fitting me just said, and I remember it word for word, “No, looks like blinding speed is not exactly your forte.” True enough, but still.

    Played on the bad knee a few years more, got it scoped and cleaned out and progressed to one made of some light material, maybe fiberglass, which I believe was a DonJoy. Haven’t played basketball in probably sixteen or seventeen years or softball in about ten but I do greatly miss both of them, have never skied and don’t intend to though.

    Meanwhile, Pamela will one day see San Diego (start at Dog Beach, we did, even before we checked into the hotel) and Mrs. B. will one day see the bears on Kodiak Island in Alaska. Promised her that when she had her first big surgery and if we can ever get her anywhere close to healthy we’re there.

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  62. Hattie said on December 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    What? You do not find them quirky and fun?

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  63. brian stouder said on December 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Basset – we finished with Dog Beach!

    It was the last day, and I announced I was going to the beach, and if my brothers (and son) wanted to come, they were welcome…and they all piled into the car (a Nissan Versa, which I really liked) and off we went.

    I came to a curb directly beside a sandy beach, and we parked the Versa and hit the beach. Then, a San Diego Street Department crew began shoveling and scraping the sand off the sidewalk…and then fired up a fairly large gas-engined blower, and blew that sand all over hell!!

    I approached the crew, after they sandblasted the bejesus outta my rented little Versa parked at the curb right off the beach, and after we shared a few laughs I asked them how often they did this?! – and the guy said once a week (the sand raises hell on the sewers, he told me).

    Anyway – the beach was just down from the Dog Beach, which had lots and lots of happy pooches and their humans enjoying it.

    SO – after we visit the Coronado hotel and Beach, and do the USS Midway again, and hit Balboa Park – Dog Beach is on the list, too!

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  64. Danny said on December 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    basset/Brian, I’ve actually been thinking about you guys the last few days as my bike rides have been taking me past Dog Beach often. Yesterday I am riding down the 101 looking to my left at the surf, sand and doggies and Close to the Edge was cranking on the iPod.

    If I remember, I’ll take my camera tomorrow and stop and snap a pick for you two.

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  65. Sherri said on December 31, 2013 at 2:18 am

    So far, Ted Cruz is far out-polling Obama in John Scalzi’s Asshole of 2013 poll:

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  66. Dexter said on December 31, 2013 at 3:09 am

    I finally watched “The Way” last night and it illustrated that the best way to see a place is to traverse the pathways and roads on foot, bearing a walking stick or two, on a bicycle, or maybe on horseback or even in a horse carriage.
    Of course many a traveler has voiced disdain at flying over the interesting places, but really, zooming through in a 80 mph car or van or SUV is not a lot better; at least not much better than staying home and watching YouTubes. All my life my vacations were one or two weeks of hurry hurry hurry with no time to soak up the true feeling one gets when he stays in a place a few weeks or months and explores out from that base camp.
    I was not happy to have been conscripted into the military as a teenager, but I did get to spend a few months in San Antonio and nine months in Monterey as well as almost a year in Vietnam. By being away from Indiana, I was able to experience simple things like seeing The Alamo, and complex beauty in Yosemite, and I breathed horrible 1960s smog in SoCal. One day I got the urge to pan for gold; found a little camp store that catered to dumbass tourists like I was. I found a nearly dried-up stream and went searching for nuggets. Worthless wastes of time, yes, but that made some of the treasured memories I have today. It’s the same as climbing into an abandoned sardine canning factory in Monterey to feel closer to John Steinbeck’s works. I could go on, but I just want to say I really want to read here one day soon that basset and Mrs. basset made that Kodiak trip and have wonderful tales to tell.

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  67. Dexter said on December 31, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Here’s an exercise in uncontrolled emotion: scroll through this list of names of 2013’s deceased file. There are 41 names of well-known humans here. The question to answer: which single name made you the saddest? Does one give you a bit sharper stab in the gut, a little more than any other single name? I’ll start: Karen Black. I can process and rationalize the rest, but that one just kills me.

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  68. Jolene said on December 31, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Dexter, I feel that way about James Gandolfini. He was just terrific in The Sopranos, capable of expressing a huge range of emotions. He made us care about–even love–a character who was not only a flagrantly faithless husband but a murderer many times over. That show ran for six seasons, and, as best as I can recall, never lost its edge. Gandolfini was at the center of most of those episodes.

    I just saw Enough Said, in which he plays a character who was warm, funny, affectionate, which is how he was reported to be in his off-screen life. Ever since I heard that he had died, I have been feeling sad that we won’t get to see him in new roles or to learn more about him as a person.

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  69. David C. said on December 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Jeff (tmmo) @ 57. According to this CSM science literacy quiz, the average reader score is 67%. It wasn’t as easy a quiz as most online quizzes and I’m quite impressed that the average is as high as it is. I got 90%, falling down mostly on life science questions (I was a physical science guy). They weren’t easy questions. I suspect even with the self selection bias of people knowing science well taking the quiz, that the members of your church know more science than they realize. So I have no difficulty believing your statement “If you asked them “does the biological concept of evolution best explain the differences in species and the functions of organisms” you’d get easily 75% or higher.”, perhaps for the same reason when asked in a survey if you attended church in the past week, 40% say yes. In reality, it’s more like 20%. People give the answer they think will get them in the least amount of trouble.

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  70. Basset said on December 31, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Probably politically incorrect not to pick Mandela off the death list but I have to say George Jones. Didn’t recognize Karen Black and several more of the actors. And I’m not touching that science quiz, anything science- or math-related can only go badly for me.

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  71. brian stouder said on December 31, 2013 at 10:13 am

    You know – one person-I-never-knew death brought tears to my eyes, twice, this past fortnight.

    I usually don’t watch Al Sharpton’s show; I catchh the end of it sometimes, as he sends it off to Chris Matthews (or whoever is next).

    The other day he introduced a news story done by an afilliate, and let it run.

    An elderly black woman with snow-white hair* was shown standing “on the cold tarmac at LAX”, flanked by a supportive (literally and emotionally) white-glove-wearing honor guard of Los Angeles Police and military people.

    The reporter narrating the scene indicated that her husband came back to her after the Second World War, and then went back in again for Korea, where he was killed. The old woman was shown remembering the plans her husband and her had made, and the Honor Guard was clearly working to keep their emotions in check, as they also held her steady.

    So after 60+ years, his airplane comes in – a commercial airplane with other passengers looking out the window as the flag-draped casket gets lowered from the cargo bay – and the honor guard and the woman approach it…and she finally just lets go and bursts into tears, as she embraces the container.

    It was just a wrenching, affecting scene, altogether.

    *I suppose in some ways she reminded me of my mom, with the white hair, lucid commentary, and determined air

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  72. brian stouder said on December 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

    (I dvr’d it so Pam could see, and then when she did, it got me a second time)

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